11/03/2016: Joshco breaking new ground
In an unprecedented move, JOSHCO, the City of Johannesburg’s social housing company, has established a skills development centre at City Deep, the former male-only hostel recently converted into a modern housing complex accommodating whole families.
The complex, consisting of family housing units ranging from one-bedroomed flats to three-bedroomed apartments, was officially opened by Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau late last year.
The skills development centre – the result of a partnership between JOSHCO, leading cellular network operator MTN and FOE Foundation – makes the City of Johannesburg the first municipality in the country to boast a computer laboratory in a former hostel area.
The skills centre is part of the City’s initiative to empower technologically under-resourced communities in Johannesburg such as the City Deep Social Housing development. The computer lab caters for young children, youth and adults.
“As the leadership of JOSHCO, we are concerned about the well-being of Johannesburg residents. We support programmes that transform the lives of residents and those that value to the residents’ lives. It is also our aim to ensure that such causes are sustainable,” says acting JOSHCO Chief Executive Mpolai Nkopane.
The skills development centre is one of the major projects that JOSHCO is undertaking to improve the quality of life of Johannesburg residents. The others include:
The Devland Golden Highway housing project, between Southgate Mall and Eldorado Park, which will yield 588 housing units and 447 parking bays. About 107 units are expected to have been completed by June 2016;
The conversion of the Nederburg Old Age Home into 60 affordable rental units. The project started on 7 March 2016 and is expected to be completed by the end of November 2016;
The purchase of Union Square – a former office block – will lead to the creation several residential units and retail space on the ground floor;
The Wolmarans Building in Simmonds Street is to be converted into 120 communal rooms, with the ground floor reserved for retail purposes;
The old Telkom office in 280 Smit Street is to be converted into 300 residential rental units;
The redevelopment of the property in 106 Claim Street will yield 50 residential units;
Fraser House is to be converted into 168 rental units. It will also be used for emergency transitional purposes upon completion; and
An old factory in Albert Street will be converted into 70 communal units, whereas the one in Durban Street will yield 120 units
“The City of Johannesburg is indeed changing the face of social housing and JOSHCO will in April 2016 break ground at Lombardy East and Turffontein for the development of new social housing projects,” Nkopane said.
“The City will achieve its mandate to curb urban decay by converting inner city buildings into liveable properties. JOSHCO will close the socioeconomic gaps between the middle class and low-income earners by introducing social housing in those areas.”
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